Kitulha Meress, one of the female students at the institute, says that she recieved several discouraging messages from the public during her first semester, arguing that such sentiments have dispirited many of her peers from joining vocational institutions.
Advocates of vocational skills training in Rwenzori region want the government to design a policy that will encourage and support girls to join technical and vocational skills training institutions. The activists say that it's deplorable that enrollment of female students in most vocation institutions in the region still remains low yet vocational training presents a new ground for employment.
They also want the Ministry of Education and Sport to equip vocational institutes with ICT facilities to further advance the skills of trainees. This came up during the handover of a digital resource center at Kasese Youth Polytechnic (BTVET).
The institution has only 54 girls out of 350 students. Kitulha Meress, one of the female students at the institute, says that she recieved several discouraging messages from the public during her first semester, arguing that such sentiments have dispirited many of her peers from joining vocational institutions.
The eighteen-year-old who is studying building and construction wants the government to have strategic advocacy campaigns to break social norms that discourage girls from joining vocational training.
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Treasure Muhindo, another female studying plumbing, says that it took her the support of his cousin to join vocational studies after being discouraged by her close friends.
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The Principal Kasese Youth Polytechnic, Dickens KomaOlochi, says that many females shy away from vocational studies because they believe that it is not meant for women. Koma adds that the new internet hub will improve research.
The Kasese Deputy Chief Administrative Officer-CAO, Samuel Senku, says there remains an influence of culture and social norms that have limited girls from taking vocational studies. He believes there must be strategies to improve girls' enrollment in vocational institutions.
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Andrew Tusubira, the MTN western region commercial officer, said they entered into a partnership with Enable to support the implementation of skilling Uganda and strategy.
The digital resource center is estimated to have cost over Shillings 65 million including ten computers, a Hi-Powered uninterruptible power supply– UPS, and dedicated internet connectivity for one year. Tusubira is optimistic that such innovations can attract more girls to the institute.